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Key Steps To Achieve a Successful RPA Implementation


Eduardo Diquez

Managing Director of Intelligent Automation, Auxis

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The global COVID-19 pandemic is pushing enterprise organizations to innovate like never before. Even business leaders who have been slow to adopt automation technologies are pressuring their IT departments to leverage them as agile solutions for business continuity and revenue enablement. But too many enterprises struggle to accelerate successful RPA implementations, finding themselves stuck in the pre-automation phase or with only a few automations that deliver minimal value. Others have achieved some success but need the bandwidth to move faster.

Forrester Research predicts automation like RPA will be key to surviving the “new normal” emerging after COVID-19 – reducing dependencies on manual processes and individuals, and providing more timely access to actionable data and insights.

Even as economic uncertainties force most CFOs to implement cost containment initiatives, only 16% said they plan to cut investments in digital transformation, according to PwC’s COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey. Instead, nearly half said they plan to accelerate automation efforts as they prepare for a post-pandemic world.

But with RPA project failure rates at 30 to 50%, how can organizations ensure RPA implementation steps that deliver on the technology’s promise?

Learn how to implement RPA effectively at your organization

At Auxis, we believe establishing three critical pillars will accelerate successful RPA implementations:

1. Set realistic expectations

Misunderstanding the capabilities of RPA destines a project for failure. Make no mistake, RPA is a transformational and disruptive technology. It typically reduces the cost of existing manual operations by 40%, enables 41% productivity gains, and allows 70% of companies to recover their investment in less than a year. And it does that without requiring organizations to assume the headache of changing existing systems.

But while its results are impressive, RPA is not meant to deliver 100% automation. If that expectation isn’t managed upfront, business leaders may abandon the journey because they incorrectly assume that failing to achieve pie-in-the-sky results indicates their processes are “too complex” for automation.

Here’s the reality: RPA automates a clearly defined process, but many organizations don’t realize how many process exceptions exist in their day-to-day operations. Since robots are trained to specific user interfaces, they can’t adapt when something unexpected inevitably occurs, such as an external application that’s updated or replaced, a new pop-up, or an invoice that includes items not in the system.

Having a strong business process design team that can anticipate and prepare for process exceptions is critical to RPA success. While it’s impossible to forecast every new pitfall that may arise, RPA teams with extensive experience building bots and that know how to ask the righ